July 2005

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This month Mr Ross celebrates a comedy legend in style, relishes comedy and musical moments from Live 8 and builds up the excitement for his forthcoming Big Finish Doctor Who adventure!

A few days late but I’m back again with another round up of comedy news. In fact, yesterday – Sunday 3 July – was a special day in the comedy calendar when the Queen of Comedy, June Whitfield, was awarded with a Living Legend dinner at Epsom Racecourse. Although the fact it took part in July and not June wasn’t comically commented upon, the day was packed with great laughs, touching speeches and fine food.

June’s long standing comic co-star Roy Hudd was on hand to sing an unforgettable tribute to the tune of ‘Moon River’ while other guests included Liz Fraser, Bella Emberg and the man who taught me to count during my formative days, Johnny Ball.  As for me, I was delighted to share a table with the stunning actress Francoise Pascal who, as French tease Danielle Favre in Mind Your Language, had brightened up the late seventies no end and taught me a great deal more than Mr Ball ever did!

The luncheon was further enhanced by a silent screening of Carry On Abroad (which had been screened on ITV the previous day) and unscheduled interruptions from the Men’s Final at Wimbledon!  John Gatenby and Gareth Hughes of The British Comedy Society should be congratulated for a very special tribute to a very special, endearingly humble, lady.

The Saturday had, of course, also showcased Sir Bob’s monumental Live 8 programme of concerts.  Comic contributions came from Little Britain’s David Walliams and Matt Lucas – in Andy and Lou guise – as well as Ricky Gervais performing THAT dance from The Office and Peter Kay resurrecting the chants and marches of his Comic Relief hit.  Hilariously introducing the next act: ‘The Spice Girls!  The Who?  Oh, The Who!’, survivors Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend stormed through a couple of numbers.  The blistering final leg was completed by a reunited Pink Floyd and Sir Paul in complete Beatles mood.  Add to that, Mariah Carey tantalisingly leaning over to hold her microphone to a young child joining in during the Hey Jude sing-along and you had awareness concert bliss!  Saturdays still don’t seem quite right without Doctor Who but that lasting image just about made up for it!

Taking of both charity and Doctor Who; fans may be pleased or alarmed to know that my next Big Finish adventure for Colin Baker is pretty much complete bar the shouting and the odd re-write.  A right comic alien romp, this one is set to be released in January.

I’ve also been asked to join the committee for a Best of British Comedy lunch in aid of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund to take place on 29 September.  More information on how you can attend this extremely worthy event nearer the time.

It just remains for me to amend my previous comments on the Network dvd of The Army Game.  The handful of episodes featuring the original stars Charles Hawtrey, Bernard Bresslaw and William Hartnell are being released in the second volume apparently to keep all the Hartnell shows (who returned in 1961 for the final series) together.  Apologies for any inconvenience.  Mind you if you like me have actually ploughed through the twenty six episodes on volume one, the antics of Bill Fraser, Alfie Bass and Harry Fowler are pure comic gold dust.  Not to mention Dad’s Army stalwart Frank Williams, the unsung genius that was Ted Lune and guest stars of the calibre of Fulton Mackay, Eric Barker, Bernard Cribbins and Geoffrey Palmer.
By the by, if anybody knows who that very sweet young lady who works in the NAFFI and tops and tails all the commercial buffers is can you please let me know via this web site?  I think I’ve fallen in love again!

Ta Ta For Now
Robert Ross

Page Last Updated Wednesday, July 05, 2006 at 21:01:22